The term “best practice” is defined by Wikipedia as:
“...... a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use.
Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking. Best practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001.”
Unfortunately, the term is more often merely a buzzword as noted rather than an actual best practice in many sectors especially in what are considered low tech sectors. Due to pressures as an outcome of the bed bug resurgence in which we sometimes hear of cases of repetitive treatments of units without success . The National Pest Management Association, the largest association of pest management professionals issued a detailed best practices guide for bed bug management in 2009. In addition, there are three certification programs for IPM in the U.S. , GreenPro by the IPM Institute, Quality Pro by NPMA and ....... a California based certification program that is mandatory for schools in that state. The Federation of Rental Property Owners in Canada is also developing an IPM Standard under their Certified Rental Building Program as well.
Best Management Practices are linked to Benchmarking processes as the benchmarking process enables determination of best practices in relation to performance outcomes. Good costs are only meaningful when performance standards are being met so that a low cost program that fails is not a best practice regardless of how low the cost. This simple truth is ignored by some organizations in which performance and bonuses are linked most strongly to profits and actual performance is sometimes kept “under the covers”. An example of benchmarking with dramatic outcomes was study of the use of mandatory checklists in hospitals in order to reduce infection. The study showed that with the use of the checklists infection control improved dramatically by double digit proportions. Checklists are an important aspect of IPM as well. The use of checklists in a program like Bed Bug Free have also shown the power of best practices in performance.
Links and Resources
List of links to Best Practice Documents and posts
 Confidential report of 17 treatments of an apartment for bed bugs without success in a public housing complex.